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PARALLEL UNIVERSE: What Were They Thinking in the First Place Dept.: ABC Cancels Gibson’s Holocaust Miniseries

Posted by kinchendavid on August 2, 2006

By David M. Kinchen

Hinton, WV   – In the latest development in GibsonGate, “Disney’s ABC television network has dropped plans to produce a Holocaust-themed miniseries, originally supposed to be created in collaboration with Mel Gibson.”

The news came just days after Gibson was arrested in Malibu, CA in the early morning hours of Friday, July 29, 2006 for drunk driving, speeding and generally making an idiot of himself by accusing “the Jews” of everything wrong with the world.

Like (anti-Semite) father, Hutton Gibson, 85, currently residing in West Virginia’s speed trap capital, Summersville, like son, a 50-year-old who is no more capable of producing a series on the Holocaust than his Holocaust denier dad. Loyal son Mel has never disassociated himself from Hutton’s remarks that the Holocaust is “mostly fiction.”

Of course, this being Hollywood, the spinmeisters are at work: Hope Hartman, a spokeswoman for ABC, was quoted in the New York Times saying that the cancellation was “unrelated to the new scandal…Given that it’s been nearly two years and we have yet to see the first draft of a script, we have decided to no longer pursue this project with Icon,” Gibson’s production company.

As John Stossel would say, Gimme a break! Of course it’s related to the now-confirmed anti-Jewish outpourings when Mad Mel was busted by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) on Pacific Coast Highway.

Associated Press Reporter Jeremiah Marquez writes that “An official police report on Mel Gibson’s arrest on drunken driving charges substantiates claims that he made anti-Semitic remarks and threatened a deputy, a law enforcement official said Monday” (July 31, 2006).

Marquez: “Gibson had released a lengthy statement Saturday apologizing for saying “despicable” things to sheriff’s deputies when he was arrested, but he did not elaborate. The entertainment Web site TMZ.com had reported that the sheriff’s department was considering eliminating the anti-Semitic remarks from its official report. The report forwarded to prosecutors cites Gibson as making disparaging comments about Jews, according to the law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.”

Marquez: ”TMZ reported that Gibson said, ‘The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,’ and asked the arresting officer, ‘Are you a Jew?’” I saw the PDF of the sheriff’s report on TMZ and it included the anti-Semitic remarks, along with a variety of “F,” “MF” and similar words that I can’t use on this site. He also referred to a female LASD deputy as “Sugar Tits,” which I hope I can use in this story!

The LASD is headed by a guy named Leroy D. Baca, usually referred to as “Lee.” It’s a well-regarded, professional outfit, generally much less prone to beating up motorists than the Los Angeles Police Department. But they’re way off base when a LASD spokesman on July 31, 2006 defended the department’s handling of the case and the apparent attempt to have the offending words stricken from the incident report.

In his statement – rejected by Jewish figures in L.A., including the entertainment agent who is the model for Ari Gold, played by Jeremy Piven on the HBO series “Entourage”: Gibson said he has struggled with alcoholism and taken steps “to ensure my return to health.”

The actor was “participating in an ongoing program to deal with this,” Gibson’s publicist, Alan Nierob told The Associated Press on Monday. “The guy is trying to stay alive.”

News accounts raised questions about whether the LASD attempted to cover up Gibson’s remarks because Gibson has a relationship with Sheriff Leroy. He has dressed in a sheriff’s uniform (I wonder where that uniform is now?) to film public service announcements for Baca’s Star Organization, a charity group that raises scholarships for children of department employees. Did I mention that Sheriff Leroy is a very political figure in the county of 10 million people, as were his predecessors?

Gibson was arrested after deputies stopped his 2006 Lexus LS 430 for speeding at 2:36 a.m. Friday, July 29. An LASD spokesman said deputies clocked him doing 87 mph in a 45 mph zone. A personal note: Driving 45 on the PCH would get you rammed by little old ladies in VW Beetles. Most traffic runs at 60 to 70 mph.

The cops said that Gibson’s blood-alcohol level was 0.12 percent… In California, a driver is legally intoxicated at 0.08 percent.

Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, called Gibson’s apology “unremorseful and insufficient.” Prominent Hollywood talent agent Ari Emanuel – the model for Ari Gold on “Entourage” — called for an industry boycott of Gibson in a blog posted Monday.

“At a time of escalating tensions in the world, the entertainment industry cannot idly stand by and allow Mel Gibson to get away with such tragically inflammatory statements,” he wrote. “People in the entertainment community, whether Jew or gentile, need to demonstrate that they understand how much is at stake in this by professionally shunning Mel Gibson and refusing to work with him, even if it means a sacrifice to their bottom line. There are times in history when standing up against bigotry and racism is more important than money.”

I don’t like boycotts of any kind. I will vote with my feet and stay away from any future Gibson production. Bigotry, as both Foxman and Emanuel said, has no place in a world already at the bursting point in hatred, as the deadly shooting spree in Seattle amply demonstrates.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: On Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2006, according to the L.A. Times, “Gibson’s spokesman released a statement today saying the actor wants to meet with Jewish leaders ‘with whom I can have a one-on-one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing. There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark.’”

The actor/director addressed his remarks to “everyone in the Jewish community,” adding that “Please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. Hatred of any kind goes against my faith.”

As we’ve noted, Gibson had previously issued a public apology regarding the incident but did not mention the anti-Jewish remarks that were included in a report filed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy.

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